When you stop believing in it, it doesn’t go away

Over on uk.religion.gjm11 there are a couple of posters who are idealists, that is, they think that the physical world arises out of consciousness and not vice versa (and, er, therefore God exists).

The discussion of idealism has spawned some huge threads on uk.r.c, which I’ve not managed to follow completely. I think the idealists are probably wrong, so I’ve waded (or perhaps paddled) into the fray a bit, with a detour to explain bits of Buddhism (p.p. scribb1e) to Richard Corfield, who some of the ucam.geeks might remember. Even in my misspent youth, I was a fairly materialist Christian (by the way, Egan‘s expository dialogue is this one, so it looks like he convinced me in the end).

gjm11 has made an essay-length posting in response to the arguments of one of the idealists, which his legion of at least one fangirl may enjoy, so I thought I’d share it with you. (ETA: corrected description of essay and number of fangirls).

10 thoughts on “When you stop believing in it, it doesn’t go away”

  1. It seems to be a legion of one, on the basis of that link. I’m not sure one can exactly have a legion of fangirl.

    Incidentally the aforementioned essay-length posting is really directed specifically at one particular idealist in uk.r.c; it isn’t meant to be a comprehensive debunking of idealism or anything, more an attempt to get the idealist in question to be a bit more concrete about what he believes and why anyone else should agree.

  2. Amunsingly, I’ve been reading about Socrates and Idealism for the last day or two, and realising what a poisonous concept it is, sitting at the root of much of western culture. The idea that the abstract is more important than the actual, and indeed more _real_ than it causes all sorts of problems with people’s choices.

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